There is a new white paper titled Microsoft Windows Security Advancements (Word file). Usually, I only skim the papers from vendors because I simply don't have time to read all this marketing blahblah. Of course, there is lots of self-adulation in this 25-page paper from Microsoft. However, it contains more useful information than usual.
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You probably have read already about the more prominent security enhancements of Windows Vista, like User Account Control, Network Access Protection or Windows Defender. This paper gives a good overview of them, plus it covers less known improvements like EFS enhancements or Integrated Rights Management Clients.
There is one sentence that surprised me a bit:
Although passwords are still supported, the primary focus for strong authentication in Windows Vista is smart cards.
So, you still can use passwords with Windows Vista, interesting isn't? Seriously, I think it is good news that Microsoft focuses more on smart cards now. I don't like passwords because I often need three attempts to enter the correct password before the first cup of coffee in the morning.
This is the table of contents of the paper:
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- Engineering for a Secure Platform
- Security Development Lifecycle
- Windows Service Hardening
- Mitigating Buffer Overruns With Hardware Protection
- 64-Bit Security Enhancements: Kernel Patch Protection and Mandatory Driver Signing
- Secure Access
- User Account Control
- New Logon Architecture
- Easier Smart Card Deployments
- Network Access Protection
- Protection Against Malware and Intrusions
- Windows Security Center
- Windows Defender
- Windows Firewall
- Malicious Software Removal Tool
- Security Advances in Internet Explorer 7
- Protections Against Malware
- Personal Data Safeguards
- Data Protection
- BitLocker Drive Encryption
- Integrated Rights Management Services Client
- Encrypting File System Enhancements
- USB Device Control